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Monday 24 April 2017

Before the Easter break, Brian Young took a party of students up to Sky Television in West London for a look around. The students were from the third year Broadcast Systems Design course and the second year Television Operations course.

On arrival at the Osterley Campus, they were met by Ian Fraser, Technical Operations Manager for Sky Production Studios, who supply all the technical staff to Sky’s many and varied studios. They began with a tour of Sky News and saw the Sky News set surrounded by in-vision newsroom desks.

Sky HQ visit

They moved to the newest building on campus, Sky Central, which houses the Glass Box studio that now acts as the presentation space for most of Sky News’ output. The next stop was Sky Studios. They first looked into the Sky Sports News control rooms, production and audio. We saw how a second sound operator controls communications with outside contributors, checking talkback is working OK and sound levels are satisfactory before handing the live circuit over to production.

Students saw how the monitoring screens both in the front stack and at each operator position were individually configurable within the production and sound control rooms for an unused studio. They also looked at the wall box layouts and Ian explained how any general purpose studio could be attached to any gallery, allowing sets to be struck and reset and lit, while the gallery was used with a different studio floor for maximum efficiency.

Sky HQ visit

A quick tour of transmission and MCR was next, followed by the Sky Sports News newsroom at close hand. The students saw a live studio operation taking place before it was time to board the coach back to Southampton.

Brian commented that as far as he could tell the students had had a worthwhile day and some of them had even asked mostly sensible questions. We hope to be able to repeat the trip next year.